Celebrating Dog Days

August 14 and August 15, 2004

Member Karen Teplitzky and her GSDs, Driver and Emma, represent the club

•Talks given by dog experts and demonstrations of different dog jobs
• Different dog breeds and groups that rescue them
• Owning, caring for and training a dog
One of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's more well known exhibits is Balto. Balto was the Husky who led the dog team in 1925 into Nome Alaska bringing life saving serum during a diphtheria outbreak. 

Balto was the lead dog of the final sled team that raced through hurricane-force winds and minus-50-degree temperatures to bring serum to the diphtheria stricken town of Nome, Alaska, in 1925.
Balto and the other dogs became international heroes, but the glory showered on them was short-lived. Within a year, the dog team, including Balto, was lost in the world of vaudeville sideshows, and the whirl of the roaring twenties.
On a visit to Los Angeles, a Cleveland businessman discovered the dogs in a "dime-a-look" museum. For the fee of 10 cents, visitors (men only) were allowed into the back room where the dogs were on display. As an animal lover, the businessman noticed that the dogs were ill and mistreated. He knew the history of the famous dogs and was outraged.
A bargain was struck to buy the dogs and bring them to Cleveland. The deal was to raise $2,000 in two weeks. With the help of the local media, Cleveland's response was explosive.
Cleveland public school children collected coins in buckets; factory workers passed the hat; hotels, stores and visitors donated what they could to the Balto fund. The Western Reserve Kennel Club added a needed financial boost and the money was raised in 10 days.
On March 19, 1927, Balto and six companions (Tillie, Fox, Sye, Billy, Old Moctoc and Alaska Slim) were triumphantly brought to Cleveland and given a heroes' welcome in a parade through Public Square to City Hall. The honored dogs were then taken to Brookside Zoo (now the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) where they lived out their lives in dignity. Approximately 15,000 people visited them the first day.
Balto died March 14, 1933, at the age of 11. The body was mounted at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where it has been kept as a reminder of his gallant race against death.
Karen says that as a side note, my great grandfather was a keeper at the Zoo and took care of Balto.  I grew up with the story of Balto, so this picture is especially meaningful to me.

Driver and Balto

Driver By The Table

Watch It Driver!!!!

Monkeying Around!

End Of A Busy Day